Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam prompts you to break into guffaws. Even the one-liners - Chhel's a pro at it - are dipped in wit and humour. Plus, the camaraderie between Paresh Rawal, Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat is superb.
But there's a problem in the story. Chhel tries to pack so much in one film. A love triangle, patriotism, terrorism, songs, the theatre group's woes, the outcome is clearly erratic and inconsistent. The comedy works and not the terrorism angle.
Chhel seems inspired by Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, but this inspiration could've done with a gripping screenplay. Another sore point is the absence of good music.
To sum up, Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam is, at best, an average fare. Watch it for the humour and also bravura performances by its lead actors.
Circa 1993: St. Louise, near Goa, is on a high alert due to illegal activities like RDX and arms landing at the coastal area. Set up in the same town is Kalakar Theatre Company, a theatre group of self indulgent dreamy actors who are always left with no choice but to perform the same age-old period play Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam every time.
One fine day, they get to know that an underworld don is planning a bomb blast in the country. The drama company gets into the act to save the entire city from this blast.
Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam takes time to come into form. But when it does, the humour is unstoppable. Sure, you may find the theatre group's drama [Akbar, Salim, Anarkali] amateurish, but it works big time. In fact, the audi will reverberate with wild laughter at several places. But the writing lacks meat and that takes away the sheen. The pace picks up, drops, picks up again, drops yet again unfailingly.
Humour is the highpoint of Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam and Chhel hits a boundary there. Ditto for his dialogues. Anu Malik's music is lifeless. Barring the title track, the remaining numbers are simply add-ons. Madhu Ambat's cinematography is fair.
Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam belongs to Paresh, Rahul and Mallika. Paresh has mastered the art of making people laugh, but when you watch him in this film, you realize the tremendous potential this terrific actor possesses. Watch his take on Akbar or step in as Kay Kay's double; he's in top form.
Mallika stands on her feet despite a giant called Paresh Rawal. Scrutinize her as Anarkali at the outset and later, as an aspiring actress; she's fantastic. Rahul Bose is known for serious and intense roles, but he breaks the shackles with Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam. His timing is perfect. Surprisingly, Kay Kay isn't in form this time. Pawan Malhotra does very well. Zakir Hussain doesn't get scope. Ditto for Tanaaz. Manoj Joshi is wasted.
On the whole, Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam is an ordinary fare, laced with great humour at places. Average.